When the eHealth be implemented in Ukraine

The innovations implementation in the healthcare system is our new reality which, according to the recent developments, is growing very fast.

Today they say much about the fact that it is time for government agencies to become functioning on self-supporting basis. Recently Ukraine Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili said that the main component of the reform in this sphere is the autonomy of hospitals and healthcare institutions. According to the Minister, healthcare institution must earn its own facilities and dispose them. Also he announced the long expected news that beginning from next year the government agency will start implementing the uniform system of patients' register.

The next step is the development and implement various IT-decisions in this sphere. These are electronic registrar, electronic patients chart and other usage of innovations. For example, in the USA a doctor gets information about a patient through the multimillion data pool and then he decides how to help a person without hurting him. As for the patient, he can arrange a visit to a doctor without a queue thanks to the electronic registrar.

The eHealth not only provides the country with the relevant presentation of the nation's health but also saves much money. Thus, the US investments of $3,6 billion to develop one of the biggest medical systems Vista, according to the analysts from KPMG, have already taken back as the economy of reducing the work load, removal of unnecessary tests and hospitalizing. This project has increased the accuracy level of issuing the pharmaceutic prescriptions to 99,97% and improved the quality of medical staff background. And after the wider implementation in 170 hospitals and 800 health clinics it has found out non-effective organizations that are completely useless for the medical state system.

Certainly the electronic innovations will come in Ukrainian medicine. Besides to implement the analogue of the US system we do not need investments running into milliards. Firstly it is necessary to solve two questions - protection of personal data and deregulation of bureaucratic business procedures.

It is more difficult with the personal data. The negotiations about the prospective of medical patients chart implementation on the state level between the eHealth-decisions developers and officials, as a rule, finish with the latter's ultimatum - the state must have citizens' data. But who are citizens that have signed a permission of such information usage? I don't think that I can find them. A person's health information is as valuable as data of bank accounts. 

The same is in the medical data pool. The opened part is available for the governmental agencies: gender, name, parents, registration, immunizations and so on. The other information is relevant only for doctors and must be closed.

The governmental agencies' transformation to become functioning on self-supporting basis can be carried out in 3-5 years. IT-sector is able to prepare the stage for the medical system devolution right now by developing and implementing the electronic registrar as the first step. The other question is that such decisions must initially be created on the basis of opened technologies, otherwise they can not be expanded. Minister Kvitashvili noted that such systems have already been working in some healthcare institutions but the problem is that they are in different regions of our country. So it is necessary to develop new full and expanding decision.

There are some lay-outs in the eHealth sphere that allow spread this system in the shortest time. And if the government uses innovations in fact rather than in word eHealth will really have a potential to be implement.


Andrew Zayats